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Thread: Ceiling fan issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6

    Ceiling fan issue

    Afternoon Gents,

    I'm a second year on the Commercial side and haven't done much Residential. Yesterday I decided that I wanted to run a receptacle into my bedroom. I crawled into the attic and found the junction box. I ran romex from the junction box into the stud bay that I wanted it in. I wire up the receptacle and now my ceiling fans that are in my living room won't turn off. So i bypassed the switch. I gave my Journeyman a call and he told me to put it back the way it was and send him a picture as well as do a wire diagram. After putting it back the way it was originally, my ceiling fans still won't turn off. I know this is something simple but I seem to be having a brain fart. Common among apprentices but to say the least i'm over here having a small pity party for myself haha. Any advice is welcome and appreciated, insults are extremely welcome lol.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placerville, CA, USA
    Posts
    19,624
    Chances are that the original junction box contained a switch leg ) two wire run to the wall switch. When done with 2 wire NM this puts one side of the switch on the white wire, and it would connect to the black wire going to the fan(s).
    If you reconnected the fan black wire to where the rest of the black wires were connected you would have bypassed the switch.
    My money is on that or a similar error if you did not individually mark your black wires before undoing the wire nut.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NE (9.1 miles @5.07 Degrees from Winged Horses)
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    10,055
    Well, your lucky you have it the way you do. Generally a newbie wonders why the switch throws sparks and fire when he flips it the first time. Figure out which one goes to the switch and draw us a picture. Most likely you will answer own questions by the time you get that done.
    Tom
    TBLO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tennessee NEC:2008
    Posts
    4,836
    Also lucky, if it was a switch loop, that he didn't tie the white in with the neutrals. That's depending on where he tied in and where the switch loop started.
    If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
    Posts
    38,252
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Bill View Post
    Also lucky, if it was a switch loop, that he didn't tie the white in with the neutrals. That's depending on where he tied in and where the switch loop started.
    Or if switch is also a speed controller, he maybe just fried it but it didn't draw enough to trip the breaker in the process.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    7,034
    180827-0704 EDT

    To unscramble the present mess consider the following assumong all wires are Romex:

    1. Separate all wires.

    2. With breaker on find the cable (2 wires and an EGC) with 120 V between hot and neutral. Verify that black to EGC is 120. This is your power source cable from the breaker. Label as power source.

    3. Verify that no other wires have voltage present relative to the source cable EGC.

    4. Turn the breaker off. Verify that none of the wires have voltage present relative to the source EGC wire.

    5. Assuming there is no open switch within the fan, then there will be continuity thru the fan of a number of ohms. Find this wire pair, and label as fan.

    6. Remaining should be one wire pair that goes to the wall switch. Using the continuity checker determine that this wire pair shows continuity or no continuity when the switch state is changed. If an ordinary toggle switch, then resistance should change from less than 1 ohm to infinity.

    Once the wires have been identified and that color coding is correct, then correctly connect the wires. And try the circuit.

    .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Jamaica and london
    Posts
    735
    Gar, you should teach this.. and it works for wires coming through conduit, if you identify the conduits... only problem is if switch wire comes in as well on the homerun conduit but I have done it before...lol... Jamaican wiring problems...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    7,034
    180827-2123 EDT

    Adamjamma:

    My method works even if all the wires are individual wires contained in one conduit, and some deduction. It just takes longer, and finding the correct ground or neutral reference wire to use.

    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Jamaica and london
    Posts
    735
    That’s what I mean.. you should teach it... I mean, my boss taught it to me in eighties just that way... but in conduit... yet I see so many who cannot figure it out... need fancy tracers to trace wires..lol...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by gar View Post
    180827-0704 EDT

    To unscramble the present mess consider the following assumong all wires are Romex:

    1. Separate all wires.

    2. With breaker on find the cable (2 wires and an EGC) with 120 V between hot and neutral. Verify that black to EGC is 120. This is your power source cable from the breaker. Label as power source.

    3. Verify that no other wires have voltage present relative to the source cable EGC.

    4. Turn the breaker off. Verify that none of the wires have voltage present relative to the source EGC wire.

    5. Assuming there is no open switch within the fan, then there will be continuity thru the fan of a number of ohms. Find this wire pair, and label as fan.

    6. Remaining should be one wire pair that goes to the wall switch. Using the continuity checker determine that this wire pair shows continuity or no continuity when the switch state is changed. If an ordinary toggle switch, then resistance should change from less than 1 ohm to infinity.

    Once the wires have been identified and that color coding is correct, then correctly connect the wires. And try the circuit.

    .
    Fixed it! I had my dad turn the switch on and off and went through the wires with my multimeter and measured ohms. ID'd the switch leg and the rest of the wires. Finding what the homerun was interesting. It's a knob and tube homerun. Used my voltage detector to find the neutral

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